Bluebell Kitchens: An Innovative Custom Design Showroom in the Heart of the Main Line
Q: You’ve recently consolidated operations at your new flagship showroom in Wayne. Tell us how that’s changed how your clients experience kitchen design.
A: We are the only kitchen design house in the Philadelphia area that displays full-size, functional kitchens. While the typical showroom has little vignettes—a cooking scene, a cabinet display— our new showroom feels like you’re in someone’s home. Now we can really show off our design chops, which is hard to do in a four-foot run. Our kitchen displays showcase our workmanship, reveal how the various components of the kitchen relate to each other, and highlight the quality of our craftsmanship. Our significantly larger showroom also allows us to share all the latest equipment and design trends. For instance, we are currently planning to introduce a new display slated to debut early next year. It will feature an elegant La Cornue range from the elite handcrafted French line, for which we’re one of the few approved dealerships in the Philly area. These ranges are completely customizable, so our clients may choose among a variety of colors, knob types, burner placement and more.
Q: What do you bring to the kitchen design process that sets you apart from DIY or simply hiring a contractor or builder?
A: First, kitchen design is our core business, so our in-house staff of interior and architectural designers is attentive to the unique aspects of the kitchen design process and its related details of products and finishes. We also work seamlessly with interior design firms, architects and builders when our clients’ projects include them. Second, we meet with clients in their current kitchen where we talk about how they’re living in this space, what frustrates or delights them about it, where they store things and why—questions most people haven’t considered “out loud” before. And third, our kitchen designers bring a distinct skill set to programming and designing cabinetry to each client’s needs and wishes, starting with how it’s planned and built. We’re all about the fine details of cabinetry and how that influences the ultimate look of this space.
Q: You attended the EuroCucina in Milan earlier this year. Tell us about the latest trends in kitchen design.
A: This European show, which usually [DB1] presents new ideas and innovative concepts about five years ahead of the U.S., is always very impressive: 117 companies were represented this year. We were excited to see that many designs and features we’ve already been incorporating into our kitchens are trending now. Integrating metal and metal coatings within cabinetry and countertops is something we’ve done for a couple of years, and now it’s become even more popular, going beyond just hoods to using metals for hardware, doors, and door and drawer fronts. There’s a continued focus on clean lines that are minimalist but not necessarily modernist. Lighting improvements help to integrate cabinet, task and room ambiance and functionality, and there’s a trend toward task lighting and interior cabinet lighting. We also see a growing preference for concealing appliances—not just toasters and coffee makers, but entire ovens and refrigerators—as well as for customizable, high-capacity cabinetry. Philadelphia tends to be a traditional city, and now many of our clients are pushing more towards transitional design, a blend of modern and traditional with a focus on comfort and timelessness.
Q: What is it like to work with you, and how do you begin the process of designing a kitchen for a new client?
A: Nearly all of our business since we began in 1985 has come to us through satisfied clients, professional referrals and repeat business, and that’s the best way to start a successful working relationship. We start with a complimentary consultation at our design studio, which includes a discussion of goals, design style and budget. We then prepare a budget. Once that’s accepted, we begin the design process for the kitchen remodel or new construction with the home visit mentioned earlier, during which we measure, photograph, discuss existing conditions and conduct a more comprehensive review of the client’s design requirements. Our team produces detailed design plans, including lifelike 3D modeling using actual finishes and other options, and a budget. Every step of the way, from cabinet design, construction and installation to walk-through and follow-up customer service, we communicate with the client to make sure work is progressing and then completed to the owner’s satisfaction.
200 West Lancaster Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
Phone: (215) 646-5442
Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.